Friday 30 April 2010

Charming !

I've been too busy to fish over the last week or so due to some revising and completing of assignments for a course I'm doing at Uni.   It will be all over in a few weeks so I am doing my best to get all the work out the way.  It's been very difficult to maintain motivation though, what with the conditions we've had over recent days, and all the catch reports and blogs I've been reading.

After today's rain I decided to have a look on the lawn in the back garden to see if the worms were out.   I've promised myself another Perch session before I get my Tench head on.    Sure enough, I was pleased to find they were very much out and 'basking' in the mild, damp and muggy conditions that we experienced tonight.

I managed to wrestle out about 30 fine hard fighting specimens in half an hour.  I lost a few too when the reactions started to wane 20 minutes in.  Having access to a good bit of lawn I'm lucky enough to never have to buy them, in fact its a preference to collect them myself when they are so freely available.   I also keep an old wheelie bin full of peelings, veg and fruit scraps which is home to thousands of red worms.  I've kept these for about 4 or 5 years with no more effort than the recycling we are all used to doing now.  A great year round source of chopped worm or for smaller hook baits.

So with the bucket full I'm ready to go.   If the opportunity presents itself over the next few days I'll be out on the canal, either at dusk or first light when the boats are quiet for a quick session trying for a nice stripey or two.

Here's a good  read about the keeping of and fishing with worms     I've Got Worms

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Magic moment

With the afternoon free and a daughter off school on Easter holidays, I decided it was high time I introduced her to the magic of fishing.    She has been asking me to take her for quite a while now, so with the sun beating down and the temperature into double figures, off we set.

Arriving at the pool we quickly set up a float rod and fished for anything that came along.   After one or two casts the float was fine tuned and ready for action.   It didn't take long before it sailed under.  These initial bites were missed of course, until eventually one of the small Roach was successfully swung in to my hand and the first fish of her career landed and photographed.

first of many ..?

We continued to catch a steady succession of 3in blades for the next few hours even landing a specimen gudgeon (certainly a good PB she'll find hard to beat)

super gonk..!

The only minor hiccup happened when I managed to temporarily impale a hook in my daughters finger whilst helping her to sort out a tangle, oww! ... happens to me nearly every session I tell her! which didn't seem to help, it was cleaned and she soon forgot about it though, that is until mom phoned to check we were both ok !

Later on the skies clouded and it tried to rain.   The temperature dropped considerably and before long the cold wind took its toll so we called it a day.   Both of us had really enjoyed the afternoon  fishing this beautifull old pool.  I was pleased to be asked on the way home, when I would be taking her again !  ( I'd better get her some of her own tackle soon then, or I won't get a look in ! )

Saturday 10 April 2010

A quick lesson learned

Fri 9th April

At the last minute I decided to grab some tackle before leaving the house so I could fish straight after work.   I work near to, or pass several well known commercials on the way home, so decided to have a go for a Perch or two at one these venues.   I picked the fisheries main match pool as I fiqured its the oldest on the complex, so could possibly hold a specimen or two.   The venue also had the latest opening time that I could establish, being 8:00pm.

By the time I'd finished work and got to my swim it was 6:30pm, leaving only had an hour and a half before the fishery closed.   I baited a swim with red maggots a rod lengths out from an overhanging tree to my left.
First cast with a juicy lobworm and the float soon bobbed twice and was away.   I struck and felt the rod bend round satisfyingly into a good fish.  

The fish moved off at speed towards a pond aerator taking line off the clutch as it did.    By this time I figured it was obviously no perch and tightened down to try to turn it.    As I did the 3lb reflo hooklength suddenly parted at the loop pinging the float back into the bramble behind me!  Not a great start.   I hate leaving hooks in fish, so I decided to fish straight through with 4lb drennan double strength in hope of landing the next stockie carp that snaffled a worm again.  

The remainder of the session was spent watching the float twitch from time to time but never sinking under.    I had obviously made the carp wary and they were extremely cautious in their investigation of the bait but were crashing around the swim obviously enjoying the free maggots.   I just couldn't get another take from the carp and I suspect the thicker line or size 6 hook was puting them off ?
Just as I was getting into the session it was time to go!  and at 8:00pm exactly I was the last person on the complex,  just as dusk brought the prime time for the Perch to feed !

I quickly made my way back to the car park in fear of being locked in.  This is one of the problems I have with commercials, they are fully geared up for the match fishing fraternity but don't accomodate other styles of fishing too well.   It would be nice if they allowed fishing for an hour after dark to take advantage of prime feeding times but then as a specialist angler not just interested in the carp I suppose I'm in the minority of anglers visiting the place.  

Session  length - 1hr 30 min
Weather - sunny clear
 Air temp  - 17c to 11c
water temp - not taken
 pressure -  high 1032 hPa  rising

Saturday 3 April 2010

A Spring Zander

Fri  2nd April 2010

I'd been desperate to get out fishing for a number of days, but for one reason or another I'd not been able to get out till today.   With the Easter weekend arriving I was determined to fit some in one way or another and finally got out and down to the canal by 6:30pm, later than I would have liked but still well before last light.

In my haste to get down there, I'd forgotten my box of floats for the Zander fishing I had planned !
So a running ledger set up was the only alternative for the first rod, baited with a small roach mounted on two trebles.   The other rod had a zeppler pike float still set up on it from my last pike session, so I attached a chunk of roach to a single size 4 hook and cast that in too.

An average fish for me of about a pound or so.

I wasn't happy with the way the float was lying so brought it in to adjust it.   While attaching another piece of roach to the hook, I happened to glance over to the tip of the other rod and saw it was being pulled round.   I was reaching over to the grab the rod when the alarm started to beep indicating a fish taking some line.   On winding down sure enough a fish was on.   The resulting zander was landed and un hooked, it was another small fish of about a pound or so.   It proves that you need to keep an eye on whats happening as you can't just rely on the alarms.   The fish was hooked quite deeply but thankfully I was able to get in under the gill cover and remove the furthest treble.   I was a bit paranoid about missing another take and deep hooking another fish, so before dusk had turned to dark,  I re rigged the float rod as a running lead set up and cast it to the near side of the boat channel to attract any roving fish.

                                 setting a trap                             
There were no more fish to report and after darkness fell I moved near to a bridge to try and intercept any fish moving in or out of the nearby marina.   This area also failed to produce any fish but I did have a couple of rattles on the tip that seemed like indications.   Actual proof they were indications from fish were left inconclusive !


I would have liked to have caught more than one fish,  to up my average if nothing else.   Landing a larger fish in the 5lb + bracket is my next target, so I am thinking of moving to a new stretch to see if I can improve things.  Although there are some reasonable fish coming out of here, up to 6lb in recent times and larger reported in the past, the average size here is only say a pound.  I need to fish a spot were this average is somewhere nearer to my target.   The hunt will continue !

Weather 6:30pm to 10:30pm

Cloudy / Light rain showers
Wind - Southerly
Pressure - rising  997 - 1000 hPa
Temp - Air 7c
Water  - 9c